Original artwork for the front cover of IT, unpublished, c. late July 1969. INTERNATIONAL TIMES, Nigel WAYMOUTH.
Original artwork for the front cover of IT, unpublished, c. late July 1969.
Original artwork for the front cover of IT, unpublished, c. late July 1969.
Original artwork for the front cover of IT, unpublished, c. late July 1969.
Original artwork for the front cover of IT, unpublished, c. late July 1969.
Original artwork for the front cover of IT, unpublished, c. late July 1969.

200.

Original artwork for the front cover of IT, unpublished, c. late July 1969.

Signed by the artist. Black ink on individual pieces of white paper, cut out and affixed to a background sheet of Letraset patterned dots, mounted on black card board. 53.4x39.7cm. Very Good condition, protected by a sheet of thick tracing paper, still attached to the verso.

The image depicts a priapic Mickey Mouse as an astronaut standing proudly on the moon's surface, an American flag attached to his huge, ejaculating penis. To his left, another rodent, reminiscent of Rick Griffin's Zap Comix character, is eating cheese, while to his right a second astronaut carries a bucket and spade, his thought bubble referencing Buzz Aldrin. A winged Mother Earth with open vagina hovers above, recalling Griffin's flying eyeball motif, while astride her sits a caricature of a starving African holding out an empty food bowl, a sharp comment on the multi-billion dollar cost of the imperialist machismo displayed below. President Nixon is portrayed at the top of the image making his famous phone call from the Oval Office to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

The work was probably intended for IT #61 (1st August, 1969), which instead featured a predominantly black cover with a small cartoon in the centre by an unidentified artist. A brief column printed on its second page begins: "Nixon, disguised as Mickey Mouse, reads declamation to 600 million people disguised as 1940s movie. In an interview about the flag planting ceremony, one of the astronauts' parents said he thought the moon belonged to America anyway, so why all the fuss?".

Waymouth told this cataloguer: "In 1969, just after the US moon landing, Anthony Haden-Guest, who was editing International Times that week, asked me to do a cover for it… it was too explicit and strong so they didn't go with my cartoon." Oz magazine, which featured Martin Sharp's Mickey Mouse/smiling moon cartoon on its July 1969 cover, was successfully targeted by the Obscene Publications Squad in the following year, so IT's circumspection in rejecting this cover art was probably wise.

Nigel Waymouth co-founded the King's Road boutique Granny Takes A Trip in early 1966, for which he designed clothes and its regularly changing shopfronts. He was introduced to Michael English by Joe Boyd in December 1966, and their partnership, later known as Hapshash and The Coloured Coat, produced the era's most distinctive psychedelic poster art. Waymouth is less well known for his cartoon art, of which this is a rare example, though its explicit sexual imagery and countercultural irreverence, in common with the emerging underground comix movement, evokes the more politicised climate of the late '60s.

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